Bids are due by 1 December for the exploration and production rights to nine new blocks being tendered by Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS), in its second bid round of the year. The acreage on offer includes two large onshore blocks - the 9,958-square-kilometre West el-Maghara concession and the 7,094-square-kilometre Rommana concession - which are located in northern Sinai, on the Mediterranean coast. The remaining seven blocks - El-Bougaz, North el-Bougaz, North el-Amyria, North el-Temsah deep, North Sinai deep, North Ras el-Hekma and North Sidi Krier deep - are all located in the Mediterranean.
Two other concessions, West El-Tabya and Northwest Sapphire, are expected to be retendered at a later date after failing to attract sufficient interest in EGAS' earlier April bid round. Four exploration agreements have been signed for the other blocks on offer (MEED 30:7:04). Bids are also due on 28 September for 18 new exploration blocks being tendered by state-owned Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC). The concessions on offer are located in the Nile Delta region, the Western Desert and the Gulf of Suez, and cover a total area of 30,804 square kilometres. Under the terms of local production sharing agreements, companies have the option to take up a 20-year development lease after the first discovery of hydrocarbons, with an option to extend for additional five-year periods.